Archive for July, 2016

World Hepatitis Day, 28th July

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

28th July is observed as World Hepatitis day. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. This year World Health Organisation has planned a global strategy this year to eliminate viral hepatitis by the year 2030. It aims to achieve elimination, spread awareness and increase diagnosis of the virus.

Why is the liver so important?

The liver is the largest gland in the human body. It is made up of thousands of lobules, each lobule consists of many hepatic cells which are the basic metabolic cells of the liver.

Some vital functions:

  • Detoxification
  • Stores vitamins A, D, K and B12 and minerals
  • Protein synthesis (makes certain amino acids – the building blocks of proteins)
  • The production of biochemical needed for digestion, such as bile
  • Maintains proper levels of glucose in the blood and produces hormones
  • Produces 80% of the body’s cholesterol
  • Produces urea (the main substance of urine)

Hepatitis can heal on its own with no significant consequence or it can progress to scarring of the liver. Acute hepatitis lasts under six months, while chronic hepatitis lasts longer. Most liver damage is caused by 3 hepatitis viruses namely hepatitis A, B and C. However, hepatitis can also be caused by alcohol and some other toxins and infections, as well as from our own autoimmune process. About 250 million people globally are thought to be affected by hepatitis C, while 300 million people are thought to be carriers of hepatitis B.

Some acute phase symptoms:

  • Diarrhoea and Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild fever
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slight abdominal pain with weight loss

Some chronic phase symptoms:

  • Circulation problems (only toxic/drug-induced hepatitis)
  • Dark urine
  • Dizziness and drowsiness
  • Enlarged spleen (only alcoholic hepatitis)
  • Headache (only toxic/drug-induced hepatitis)
  • Itchy skin
  • Light coloured faeces
  • Yellow skin, whites of eyes, tongue

Different types of Hepatitis are explained below:

Hepatitis A & E

Transmission: Both are spread mainly through eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated by the faeces of an infected person.

Prevention: There is a vaccination for hepatitis A. Hepatitis E has a vaccine but it is not widely available. Maintaining good hygiene practices is a precautionary measure.

Treatment: As hepatitis A only causes acute hepatitis, the body is often able to clear the infection itself within a few weeks. There is no treatment for hepatitis E. However it is usually self-limiting.

Hepatitis B

Transmission: Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person. It can be passed on from mother to child during childbirth.

Prevention: There is a vaccination that can prevent Hepatitis B. It is best to avoid sharing of needles, toothbrushes or razors with an infected person.

Treatment: There are a variety of antiviral drugs available which slow the replication of the virus and occasionally result in its clearance.

Hepatitis C & D

Transmission: Both are spread through contact with infected blood.

Prevention: There is no vaccination for hepatitis C. It is therefore necessary to reduce risk by avoiding sharing needles, toothbrushes and razors from an infected person. It is also wise to avoid getting tattoos or body piercings from unlicensed facilities.
Hepatitis D is only found in people who are already infected with the hepatitis B virus. So vaccination against Hepatitis B can help.

Treatment for C: Treatment for chronic hepatitis C aims to eradicate the virus. It often involves a use of combination medicines and there is an increasing use of potent antiviral drugs.

Treatment for D: Conditions may improve with administration of a-interferon, however no effective antiviral therapy is currently available for hepatitis D.

Correct diagnosis and early treatment of Hepatitis is crucial to save the liver from further damage. Consult our team of experts at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital for any Hepatitis related queries. Contact us anytime for emergencies and consultations We cater to all kind of patient issues minor and major. Please visit our website for further details:

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/departments/clinicaldepartments/gastroenterology.html

Fever, the Monsoon Enemy

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Its pouring since the last two days incessantly. Every season we all eagerly await the rains but they have their own woes too, especially the different forms of fever.

While most are normal viral fevers, doctors are advising caution and adequate rest to ensure that things don’t get out of hand. The sudden change in climate accompanied by a variation between the day and night temperatures are to blame for the multiplication of viruses, resulting in flu and respiratory infections.

Some common types of Fever:

  • Dengue fever
    An acute viral infection dengue is acquired from the bite of a female Aedes aegypti mosquito at daytime. Symptoms include the sudden onset of high fever that may last from two to seven days, joint and muscle pains, skin rashes, nose bleeding, abdominal pain, and vomiting.
  • Leptospirosis
    This is a bacterial infection from rodents and other vermin. This is commonly transmitted through rodent bites, contaminated food and exposure to flood with urine or faeces of infected animals. Apart from open wounds, the bacteria also enters the system through the eyes, nose and mouth. Fever, muscle pain, headache and reddish eyes are some of its symptoms.
  • Cholera
    A serious intestinal infection transmitted by consuming food or drinking water filled with Vibrio cholerae, a bacterium usually found in human waste. This causes watery diarrhea and vomiting, leading to severe dehydration.
  • Influenza
    Also known as flu, it’s a viral infection affecting those with weak immune systems. This affects the respiratory system and triggers chills, fever, sore throat, runny nose, coughs and fatigue.
  • Hepatitis A
    An ancient disease of the liver it is known to be very infectious. This can be transmitted through food and water contaminated with faeces and urine from an infected patient. Abdominal discomfort, tiredness, dark urine and fever are few signs.
  • Typhoid
    An acute illness caused by Salmonellae typhi bacteria from the faecal waste of a carrier. Infected people suffer from poor appetite, headaches, diarrhea and lethargy.
  • Chikungunya fever
    This is caused by the same dengue virus mosquito, Aedes aegypti which bites during the day. It can cause severe, occasionally persistent, joint pain as well as fever and rashes. Specific antiviral drugs or vaccine for treatment of chikungunya fever aren’t available.

Some things to take care during Fever:

  • To avoid infections to spread do not attend college, school or office.
  • Complete rest is needed to cure with plenty of fluids, water and warm food.
  • Consuming only boiled water is a must.
  • Watch out for any unusual condition and get tested if fever persists.
  • Guard yourselves and be protected from different illnesses preventable by vaccination.
  • If going out is necessary, wear a facemask or cover your nose and mouth with a handkerchief in crowded places to avoid getting viruses.
  • Avoid making contact with flooded areas especially when you have an open wound.
  • Always feel free to get medical help without delay it he patient’s health deteriorates.

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital functions with a FULL TIME SPECIALIST SYSTEM, which ensures the availability of specialists round the clock. Contact us anytime for emergencies and consultations We cater to all kind of patient issues minor and major. Please visit our website for further details:

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com

Monsoon Ailments

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

We are halfway in the rainy season and are enjoying the occasional rain showers. Some are planning treks while others are looking for leisure trips at nearby getaways. Sounds great! However, the pleasant rains have also brought along a number of monsoon related illnesses. Are you aware and cautious about them?

Some of the common illnesses visiting in monsoon:

Common cold, cough and viral fever

It is one of the biggest reasons of major absenteeism in schools as well as offices. These viruses thrive in humid conditions and easily spread too.

Things to take care:
  • Maintain high levels of hygiene by washing hands frequently so you don’t spread or contract viruses through contact with people.
  • Avoid staying in wet clothes, always change or keep a spare set at work.
  • Boost your immunity by eating nutritious foods.
Malaria

This ailment somehow takes the top place during the rainy season. Female anopheles mosquito cause malaria by breeding in dirty water. The common symptoms of malaria are fever, shivers, muscle pain and weakness. If untreated, it can lead to more hazardous consequences.

Things to take care:
  • Stagnant water acts as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, so ensure your neighbourhood is kept as clean as possible.
  • If you need to store water at home ensure that you cover it.
  • Use mosquito nets, coils or incense and skin repellents to keep away from mosquitoes.
Dengue

Dengue fever is caused by the dengue virus found in certain mosquitoes. The common symptoms of dengue are fever, body aches, joint pain and rash. Keeping a check on the platelet count is needed as a low range needs urgent attention.

Things to take care:
  • To avoid mosquito bites use insect repellents and cover yourself properly.
Leptospirosis

One of the most common monsoon ailments, leptospirosis is mostly caused by walking in dirty water. The chances of infection increases if you have skin injuries. This bacterial disease is spread by rats and symptoms include high fever and chills with severe headaches and body ache, followed by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

Things to take care:
  • Avoid exposing your feet to dirty, stagnant rainwater, especially if you have injuries.
Diarrhoea

This is another common ailment during monsoon, which is caused due to unhygienic consumption or handling of foods and water. When diarrhoea is caused by food contaminated with bacteria or parasites, it is often referred to this as food poisoning.

Things to take care:
  • Avoid eating at unhygienic places and consuming uncovered foods.
  • Maintain proper hygiene, wash hands before handling food and drink only boiled water.

We generally tend to self medicate at times and ignore poor health symptoms. However it is best to consult a doctor immediately. Do check our below link for appointments, contact number and various doctor details. We cater to all kind of patient issues minor and major.

https://www.kokilabenhospital.com/patients/makeanappointment.html

So be safe this monsoon by taking some small precautions. Happy Rains!